Jason Grissom, Youth Pastor at Broadway Baptist Church in Southaven, and the ministry team came up with a pretty scary scenario for this year's Judgment House event — but the aim is not to scare but to save.
The premise is simple. A group of teenage girls go to a local movie theater, are abducted and wind up in an abandoned warehouse.
Three lives will change forever that day, according to Grissom.
It could be an episode from a late-night crime show but it's not.
As Grissom points out, the scenario is all too real.
"These are things ripped from the headlines," said Grissom.
The world is indeed a scary place, in need of Christ's salvation, according to Grissom.
"I feel like the day and age that we live in certainly gives us challenges," Grissom said. "Teenage abduction is the theme for this year's Judgment House, which began Friday night and continues Saturday and Sunday. The event, which has drawn hundreds to Broadway Baptist, begins tours at 6 p.m. nightly.
"It's very real with Snapchat, with Instagram, with so many things that are out there," Grissom said. "It's so easy for predators to hide, so we're following the storyline of a few teenagers. The abduction takes place with two of them. Sadly, one of the events that unfolds takes one of the girl's lives, and along with her, one of the kidnapper's lives is taken. At the end of the day you have three people who face eternity. The presentation of Judgment House shows the reality of heaven and hell from the Biblical worldview."
Grissom said he feels the dramatic presentation will resonate with young people and adults alike.
"By doing that, we want to use something that is a very current storyline that will really fit with what is happening in our world today," Grissom said. "So this year, it's teenage abduction. The first few storylines takes them into a movie theater, and then to a movie theater parking lot, and then to an abandoned warehouse. Our job is not to freak anybody out or scare people, or make an emotional decision, but we're showing things that play out in our news every week. It seems like that like not a day goes by without an Amber Alert, without kidnapping, or sadly, human trafficking."
Grissom said in reality, hard questions need to be asked and answered.
"We're just trying to show and ask, 'what are you doing with your eternity — either with or without Jesus?' On the other hand, we're showing that teenagers and kids need to be careful with what kinds of information they post and who they interact with — someone their parents might not even know about."
Grissom hopes that young and old alike will willingly turn their hearts to the saving grace of Jesus Christ and take the crucial next step to ensure eternity with the Lord.
"Eighty-eight were saved or reeducated their lives last year and we hope that many and more will take that step this year," Grissom said. "As of now, we have 12 churches signed up. Our purpose is two-fold: seeing that people come to know Jesus Christ and partnering with our area churches in this important ministry."
Grissom said that "walk-ins" are welcome. For more information about Judgment House tours at Broadway Baptist Church, contact 662-349-5005.
Robert Lee Long is Community Editor of the DeSoto Times-Tribune. He may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 662-429-6397, Ext. 252.